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Sac Valley CNPS hosts online plant sale

Hundreds of native plants available for contactless pickup

Tubular pink flowers on a vining plant
Hairy honeysuckle ( Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans ) is among the native plants offered during the Sac Valley CNPS chapter's online fall sale. (Photo courtesy Sac Valley CNPS)

Editor's note: The Sac Valley sale webpage Monday morning indicated that the online scheduler was malfunctioning Sunday afternoon, so the sale link had been taken down. Shoppers are advised to check back on its status Monday afternoon.

Fall is for planting – even during a pandemic! Usually, September is packed with sales as local gardeners gear up to put more plants into the ground. These sales also are major fundraisers for gardening groups and clubs. But how do you hold a big gardening event while protecting customers? Go virtual!

That’s what the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society did. Due to COVID restrictions, the chapter moved its popular Fall Native Plant Sale online. The sale is going on now through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Including a wide variety of perennials and other popular natives, hundreds of plants are available. To order and to see the sale catalog, go to: . Be sure to follow the instructions on the "How to order plants" link . Other CNPS chapters are using the same format, and Sacramento sale customers need to click on plants with "Sac Valley" next to the size option.

Pickups will be all pre-scheduled. Time slots are noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27.

Customers will drive up to Soil Born Farms, home to the chapter’s Elderberry Farms Native Plant Nursery, at 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. Volunteers will have their orders waiting for contact-less pickup.

“The Plant Sale pickup will be a very choreographed event with good signage and masked, helpful, volunteers who will load your purchases,” says the SacValley webpage, “so our shoppers don't get out of their vehicles! Please wear a mask if you roll down your window.”

The chapter hosted its spring plant sale using this format and sold about 1,200 plants. Proceeds from that sale went towards a $10,000 donation by the chapter to organizations that provide food or assistance to those in need during the coronavirus crisis, according to the chapter’s website.

In addition to picking up plants, customers are encouraged to drop off empty black 1-gallon pots. The nursery will sterilize the pots and reuse them.


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Garden Checklist for week of April 21

This week there’s plenty to keep gardeners busy. With no rain in the immediate forecast, remember to irrigate any new transplants.

* Weed, weed, weed! Get them before they flower and go to seed.

* April is the last chance to plant citrus trees such as dwarf orange, lemon and kumquat. These trees also look good in landscaping and provide fresh fruit in winter.

* Smell orange blossoms? Feed citrus trees with a low dose of balanced fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) during bloom to help set fruit. Keep an eye out for ants.

* Apply slow-release fertilizer to the lawn.

* Thoroughly clean debris from the bottom of outdoor ponds or fountains.

* Spring brings a flush of rapid growth, and that means your garden is really hungry. Feed shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer. Or mulch with a 1-inch layer of compost.

* Azaleas and camellias looking a little yellow? If leaves are turning yellow between the veins, give them a boost with chelated iron.

* Trim dead flowers but not leaves from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Those leaves gather energy to create next year's flowers. Also, give the bulbs a fertilizer boost after bloom.

* Pinch chrysanthemums back to 12 inches for fall flowers. Cut old stems to the ground.

* Mulch around plants to conserve moisture and control weeds.

* From seed, plant beans, beets, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melons, radishes and squash.

* Plant onion sets.

* In the flower garden, plant seeds for asters, cosmos, celosia, marigolds, salvia, sunflowers and zinnias.

* Transplant petunias, zinnias, geraniums and other summer bloomers.

* Plant perennials and dahlia tubers for summer bloom.

* Mid to late April is about the last chance to plant summer bulbs, such as gladiolus and tuberous begonias.

* Transplant lettuce seedlings. Choose varieties that mature quickly such as loose leaf.

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